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May 21, 2008

Look from the top of the Space Needle with Deep Zoom

A couple weeks ago, the Deep Zoom Composer Team announced an update to Deep Zoom Composer that was first released at MIX this year. You can download the new version here (version  I decided to use Deep Zoom Composer myself to create my very own Deep Zoom Collections.  

If you recall, I took a roadtrip around the Pacific Northwest with a friend and took quite a bit of photos with a Canon Digital Rebel XTi  (a Certified for Windows Vista camera). I used many of the photos to create some panoramic shots with Windows Live Photo Gallery. Click here to view the shots as well as the post about my trip. However I still had tons of photos left over from the trip. I decided to use some leftover photos taken from the top of the Space Needle in Seattle, WA to create my very first Deep Zoom Collection.

Deep Zoom Collection*: Top of Space Needle in Seattle, WA

* Silverlight 2.0 Beta is required to view Deep Zoom Collections. If you don’t have Silverlight 2.0 installed, it will ask you to install it to view the Deep Zoom Collection.

Creating a Deep Zoom Collection is really easy with Deep Zoom Composer. Almost anyone can create their own Deep Zoom Collection.

All I needed to do was import the photos I wanted to include in the collection into Deep Zoom Composer and compose them onto what is called the “artboard”. I can drag and drop photos I imported from the image selector on the right-hand side onto the artboard and arrange the photos however I want in variety of sizes and alignments. Deep Zoom Composer includes alignment presets (located on the toolbar at the bottom of the artboard).

Once I was done composing my Deep Zoom Collection, I went to the Export tab and exported my project out as a Silverlight Project. In exporting out a project, be sure to export as a collection and not a composition. If you export out as a composition – it flattens your entire arrangement of images into one giant image. Exporting as a collection is like a collection of “compositions” – with each image being a composition. You’ll notice things look better when you export as a collection. I made this mistake the first time.

After the export of my project is finished, I am presented with several options – such as being able to preview my Deep Zoom Collection in a browser.

So how did I get my Deep Zoom Collection onto the web? All I needed to do was FTP all the files within the “DeepZoomOutput_Web”  directory which is under the Project Folder (see above screenshot on how to quickly access your Project Folder) into a directory here on the Windows Vista Team Blog.

Give Deep Zoom Composer a try yourself. I would love to see some of your Deep Zoom Collections. Leave a link in comments. Let me know what you think of mine. I hope to regularly do Deep Zoom Collections here. Special thanks to the Deep Zoom Composer Team for helping me with my first Deep Zoom Collection!